WE HAVE NO FEAR THAT A WEASEL MAY HAVE DRAGGED [LEAVEN] FROM ONE ROOM TO ANOTHER OR FROM ONE SPOT TO ANOTHER. FOR IF SO, [WE MUST ALSO FEAR] FROM COURT-YARD TO COURT-YARD AND FROM TOWN TO TOWN, [AND] THE MATTER IS ENDLESS.
Once a room is searched, it is searched and you don’t have to worry about a whole series of endless “what if’s.”
Or do you? Why keep things easy when we can jumble it up?
The reason is that we did not see it take [leaven]; but if we saw it take [it] we do fear, and it requires a [re-]search.
Ah, now we have a witness!
But maybe, even if we see it grab a piece of leaven we should assume that the weasel ate it? This leads into a long discussion about whether “a doubt can negate a certainty.” The conversation stems on, believe it or not, aborted and miscarried fetuses. We’ll save that for another time. Let’s go to a different thought experiment:
If there are nine packages of mazzah and one of leaven, and a mouse comes and steals [a package], and we do not know whether it took mazzah or leaven. . .
It turns out, using the analogy of meat purchased in a shop (but one forgets which shop) vs found on the street – the package the mouse steals from a fixed place (metaphorically similar to a butcher’s shop) has a 50% chance of being mazzah or leaven so we preserve doubt and re-search for leaven. However, if the stolen package was separated from the others (as is a piece of meat found on the street) we go with the majority. Since there are 9 packages of mazzah and only one of leaven, we assume the mouse is enjoying some nice unleavened bread and do not have to go searching for it.
We might worry if it has a stomach ache, though.